Electrical Safety at Christmas

You may have been using the same Christmas lights year in, year out and so far, they’ve been faithful and true, always coming on when you want them to, and staying on for the entire Christmas period.

However, there comes a time when your Christmas lights may be on the blink, so to speak. At some point your Christmas lights will be ready to be replaced. Question is – do you know when that time is, or are you oblivious to a set of Christmas tree lights sell by date?

The older the lights the less safe they are

It stands to reason that your lights over time will become less effective and more importantly, more likely to do you harm. While they’re stored away, they get covered in dust, they may not meet current safety standards and could be dangerous. Without you knowing, they may also have been placed somewhere damp, and this increases the risk they pose to you once you’re ready to use them again.

Extra Low Voltage – Safety Extra Low Voltage Transformer.

Christmas lights are normally at an extra low voltage and they are powered by what’s known as a Safety Extra Low Voltage transformer. This is used because it helps to avoid the opportunity for serious accidents to happen.

It is important therefore, to make sure you replace your Christmas lights on a regular basis with new ones from a reputable store that are safety standard compliant. Make sure you don’t buy second hand lights, and if you do come by a set, and you still want to use them, make sure you have them PAT tested so they’ll be safe to use.

What else should you look out for when buying new Christmas lights?

When you’re scouting around looking for lights, try to look out for the BS Kitemark sign, and buy them from a store you can trust. As we’ve already mentioned, they should come with low voltage via the transformer we talked about, this will be much safer and less likely to cause a shock.

How can you use your lights safely?

Below are some guidelines on how to make sure your Christmas lights are used safely:

  • Be careful where you place the cable and not near anywhere it can be damaged

  • Keep the lights away from something flammable as they can get hot quickly

  • Use a Residual Current Device (RCD) this helps avoid electric shocks

  • Always switch them off before you go to bed, don’t leave them on all night

  • Don’t leave cables where people can trip and fall over them

  • Don’t let the children play with the lights

  • Be very careful with adapters, don’t overload them, it’s one plug per socket only

  • Don’t use an adapter that uses more than 13 amps of current

  • Unless you’ve bought lights that are specifically for outdoor use don’t try and use them outside

  • When using outdoor lights make sure they have a transformer as mentioned above and that it’s safe to use outside.

GW Electrics – Trustworthy Electricians in Glasgow

If you’re unsure whether your Christmas lights are safe to use this year, and you don’t want to buy new ones, or you’re unsure about the new lights you’ve just bought, then get in touch.

Here at GW Electrics we have many years’ experience in dealing with electrical safety and our team are all qualified and trained to carry out PAT testing. So if you want your lights checked for safety, then we can do that for you. Just give us a call.